Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Abraham and Moses
In Reformed theology there is sometimes is a tendency to play off Abraham and Moses driven by a particular covenantal scheme. But if God has one plan, then there must continuity between the two covenants. One of the best books on covenant theology that I've read in recent years is Michael Williams, Far As the Curse is Found: The Covenant Story of Redemption (Phillipsburgh, NJ: P&R, 2005), who says this: "God's Sinai covenant with Israel (Ex. 19) harks back to his promises to Abraham (Gen. 12). Yahweh is reminding Israel that he is not a deity restricted to a particular territory or tribe. Rather, 'the whole earth is mine.' God's selection of one people out of all the earth, while maintaining his sovereign rights over all nations, leads to the conclusion that the election of the one is for the blessing of all. Israel's calling is a means toward the end of universal blessings" (p. 138). And in a footnote there is mention of Bill Dumbrell's suggestion that Exod. 19.4-5 is a virtual restatement of Gen. 12.1-3 and that the Mosaic covenant is a restatement and expansion of the Abrahamic promises of Genesis 12.